Sarah Palin endorses 2 Hawaii candidates

HONOLULU (AP) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is backing two Hawaii candidates.

During a phone call on Thursday to Big Island supporters of Republican John Willoughby, Palin said she backs his quest to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in the 2nd Congressional District representing the neighbor islands and rural Oahu.

Palin, a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012, also endorsed Republican Scott Henderson for state House District 7 on the Big Island against incumbent Democrat Cindy Evans.

Willoughby and Henderson are backed by local tea party groups.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Palin said she hopes "Hawaiians" will support the candidates. It wasn't clear if she meant Native Hawaiians or Hawaii residents.

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